Nicola Slawson – The Guardian June 19, 2020
The controversial rightwing commentator Katie Hopkins has had her Twitter account permanently suspended for violating the platform’s “hateful conduct” policy.
Hopkins, who has been repeatedly retweeted by the US president, Donald Trump, and had more than 1.1 million followers, was removed to “keep Twitter safe”, according to the social media platform.
The move came hours after she had complained that her blue “verified” check mark, which lets users know that an account is authentic, had been removed. A spokesperson for Twitter confirmed her removal to the Guardian.
The statement read: “Keeping Twitter safe is a top priority for us. Abuse and hateful conduct have no place on our service and we will continue to take action when our rules are broken.
“In this case, the account has been permanently suspended for violations of our hateful conduct policy.”
According to Twitter’s website, that policy prohibits promoting violence against or directly attacking or threatening people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, age, disability or serious disease.
Hopkins has been heavily criticised in the past for her comments, including comparing migrants to cockroaches and claiming the photograph of a dead Syrian boy lying on a beach that sparked a wave of compassion across Europe was staged (see below), as well as stating that people with dementia should not “block” hospital beds.
Recently, she has been criticising the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the government’s decision to offer free meals to children during school holidays, a campaign driven by the Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.
In her final tweets before the ban, she celebrated hitting 1.1 million followers and urged her fans to follow her on Instagram.
Hopkins, who rose to prominence as a contestant on The Apprentice, regularly tweets pro-Trump, pro-Brexit and anti-immigration messages, and has launched a series of attacks on the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. In January, she was temporarily locked out of the platform for violating its anti-hate policy.
In 2018, Hopkins was forced to apply for an insolvency agreement to avoid bankruptcy after a costly libel case involving the food writer Jack Monroe. She previously wrote for Rebel Media, the Canadian far-right firm that has also employed the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.
She parted ways with Mail Online, for which she wrote a regular column, in late 2017, a few months after losing her LBC radio show, on which she called for a “final solution” in response to the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.
Being removed from Twitter could prove to be a major blow to Hopkins’ profile. Previous far-right figures who have been banned, including Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones, have struggled for relevance afterwards.
The Guardian has approached both Instagram and a representative for Hopkins for comment.